Sukin Sensitive Facial Moisturiser – Review

589291_xlargeThe weather is getting colder, the central heating has been switched on and even my oily skin is feeling a bit drier. Historically, I don’t get on with a lot of night time moisturisers as they are formulated for dry skin which leaves my skin feeling clogged by morning time.

What I require from a night cream is something to lock in my serum, provide moisturisation throughout the night and one that doesn’t feel occlusive on my skin. On my hunt for a drug store moisturiser I came across the Australian, natural, organic skin care brand Sukin. Having liked the look of the brand and the price range I decided to buy the Sukin Sensitive Facial Moisturiser. I don’t have particularly sensitive skin but I always choose these products as they will have less (or no) allergens/ irritants in the formula which I believe are unnecessary in skin care anyway.

I chose the day cream instead of the night cream as I felt the night cream might be too heavy for my skin and the day cream doesn’t have any SPF in it anyway. A 125ml bottle of this moisturiser costs just £8.10.

Taken from the Sukin website “Shea butter and Aloe Vera with Rose Hip, Sesame and Jojoba oils to promote moisture and balance the skin. This light and gentle moisturiser, boasts Shea butter and Aloe Vera to calm and soothe the complexion.
Rapidly absorbed to deliver essential hydration to delicate skin, whilst Rose Hip, Sesame and Jojoba oils help promote optimal moisture levels for radiant, balanced skin.
Suitable for normal to sensitive skin types.”

Formula: The formula for this product is based on water, glycerin and numerous plant oils and butters such as sesame, rosehip, shea, cocoa, jojoba, avocado and wheatgerm. It also has a few ingredients known to calm the skin such as aloe and cucumber extract. I like that they have added vitamin E into the formula, a great antioxidant. The formula is free of parabens but does contain Phenoxyethanol and Benzyl Alcohol to preserve the formula safety for 6 months after opening.

Packaging: I love the packaging for this product. It comes in an opaque pump bottle, which is easy to use, hygienic and the ingredients will be more stable in this kind of packaging.

Application: One pump of this product is enough for my whole face and neck. The product once pumped into my palms melts really nicely into my hand and absorbs very quickly into my skin. It leave it feeling moisturised, but not oily. If you have normal-dry skin I wouldn’t recommend this for you as it isn’t moisturising enough.

Long term effects: I’ve been using this product for a few months now and I have to say I’m really happy with it! My skin feels soft, moisturised, I haven’t experienced a single breakout and I’m never greasy when I wake up. Overall this is a great, cheap product to use and one I will be repurchasing for sure.

Have you tried Sukin products before? Comment below and let me know!

Jay

 

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No. 7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Oil – Review

no7In my quest for cheaper dupes for my favourite products I came across this cleansing oil from No.7. I’ve been religiously using the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil for a few years now but at £22 for a 200ml bottle it isn’t the most economic option. The No.7 cleansing oil is just £11 for a 150ml bottle.

Packaging: This cleanser comes in a clear bottle which is great because you can actually see when you need to top-up. On the top is a pump which you can lock close when it’s not in use. I use around two pumps per use and there is 150 ml of product in the bottle.

Ingredients: This cleanser is based on mineral oil and numerous plant oils such as avocado, olive, safflower and rose which may be comedogenic for some people who are acne-prone. It also contains vitamins E and C. Unfortunately this product contains fragrance and the fragrance has a very strong floral smell. As this is a wash-off product the fragrance doesn’t bother me too much but if you have sensitive skin I’d skip this product.

Texture and appearance: This oil more “oily” than the Clinique oil. This means it clings onto the skin better, is more moisturising but also leaves an oily film on the skin when washed off. I’d say it is more suitable for dry to normal skin.

Application: I take the oil between my palms and massage it into my skin for around 30-60 seconds focusing on areas like the eye. I haven’t experienced irritation or stinging even when the product got into my eyes, making it safe for eye make-up removal. You can wash this directly off the skin (it turns to a milky emulsion) or use a soft face cloth. I do find that this product leaves an oily film on my skin and it isn’t as good at removing eye make-up as the Clinique cleanser.

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Above, I tested this product with different makeup; foundation, concealer, mascara, pencil eyeliner, liquid eyeliner, eyeshadow primer, eyebrow pomade, lipstick, liquid lipstick and eyeshadow. After massaging the product in for 60 seconds I rinsed off with warm water and patted dry. It did a great job of getting rid of all the make-up apart from the long wear liquid liner.

I wouldn’t say this is an exact dupe for the Clinique cleansing oil, which will remain my holy grail cleanser. It doesn’t perform at removing heavy make-up and I’m not a fan of the texture and ingredients for my oily skin. However, it is a good option for me on my lighter day-to-day make-up. With it being just £11 a bottle I may repurchase it but I’m looking to try some other drug-store cleansing oils first.

Have you tried this cleanser before? What is your favourite oil cleanser? Comment below and let me know!

Jay x

Freedom Eyebrow Pomade – The Anastasia DipBrow Pomade Dupe?

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Going into the new year my resolution is to seriously cut down on my spending. Gone are the days where I turn my nose up at drug store products, I mean, if it does the same job at a fraction of the price, I’m game!

If there is one thing I rarely leave the house without doing, it’s my eyebrows. Groomed, clean brows make such a difference in framing your face and I believe good brows are the cornerstone of mastering make-up. So when I was finally coming towards the end of my beloved, holy-grail, never-leave-the-house-without, DipBrow Pomade from Anastasia Beverly Hills, I wanted to try something new. I’d read about the Pro-Brow Pomade from Freedom Cosmetics on a few blogs and heard that it was a really good dupe for the original. Off to Superdrug I went and picked up this pot for just £5, a whole £10 cheaper than the ABH pomade. I believe there are 11 different colours to choose from which are exact dupes for the ABH range. I chose the colour Ash Brown as that is what I buy in the ABH DipBrow and I’m glad to say they are an exact dupe in terms of colour.

What I love about the ABH DipBrow is the ease of applicability, pigmentation and longevity so I tested the Freedom Pomade based on these criteria. After many weeks of using this product I am very, very happy (and so is my bank account) to say that this product has completely replaced my ABH DipBrow. It applies EXACTLY the same, looks EXACTLY the same when it’s on and lasts EXACTLY the same amount of time. Really, honestly, there is no difference.

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Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow Pomade “Ash Brown” vs. Freedom Eyebrow Pomade “Ash Brown”

Next time you’re in Superdrug I’d really recommend picking up one of these pots. Anyone who uses brow pomades knows they last for ages, in fact I used my ABH pomade for 18 months, every single day. I honestly don’t believe you need any other brow product for everyday use and spending just £5 for a product that guarantees a more “polished” version of yourself is awesome!

Jay x

 

October Favourites

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Hey guys! I cannot believe it is October is already over. You may be wondering why I didn’t do a favourites post last month and to be honest I sat down to write the post but couldn’t for the life of me think of anything that I was really loving that month. Nonetheless, that was last month and this month I’ve been liking a lot of things, so without further ado here are my October favourites.

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BEAUTY

NYX Lip Lingerie in Teddy

This liquid lipstick has been my everyday lipstick for the transitional weather. I haven’t been feeling bold or brave enough to rock a red or dark vampy lip when I’m at work but this lip colour is the perfect alternative for me. It is a true brown with a grey undertone that doesn’t really scream “look at me!!!” but rather smugly suggests that you’re down with the seasonal change.

Dior Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation

As the weather has been getting cooler my skin has not been as oily and thus to bring a bit of Autumn glow I’ve been using this foundation. This product is quite lightweight on the skin, blends in really easily and gives my skin a really pretty lit-from-within glow. It lasts all day and I’ve really been enjoying using it at my daily foundation.

Delilah Sunset Matt Bronzer

I’m someone who never stops using bronzers come rain or shine. After Summer has past I put my shimmery, shiny bronzers away for a more matte formula. This is my holy grail bronzer during the winter. It warms up the skin without being too in your face and I find I don’t need an extra blusher when I use this, which saves me time in the morning. The formula is finely pressed so it blends in well and lasts all day on the skin.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner

I spoke about this liner in a post earlier this month and I am really enjoying this product. It is pigmented, easy to use and literally lasts through anything. To see my full review, see here.

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer

My hair was in a really bad state and I was finding that I couldn’t leave the house without my hair frizzing and drying out. To be honest what it really needs is a trim which I promise I will get round to, but in the meantime I’ve been using this hair treatment from Philip Kingsley. I apply a golf size ball amount of this treatment on the ends of my hair and leave in for at least 20 minutes before washing and styling. Honestly the different that this product makes is immense. Straight after using this product my hair feels so much smoother, stronger and the frizz is reduced. I find the effects last a good 2 weeks until I need to treat it again. I’m coming to the end of the pot and will be repurchasing it again asap.

Carolina Herrera 212 EDT

I’ve been on the hunt for a new daytime perfume for the longest time and out of frustration of not finding anything that I love, I decided to purchase this one (online) as I liked the notes in the perfume (white florals and musk). Upon initially spraying I did not like it as it had a strong chemical smell, but after it has dried down the clean white florals come through. After a few hours on the skin it leaves a light musk. Whilst this perfume isn’t one that really stands out to me, I’ve really enjoyed using it for work and it is very suited to the city. It is a very subtle, clean scent, perfect for the day time, perfect for work and I feel like it is very suitable for this transitional weather.

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FASHION

Zara Ankle Boots in cream and burgundy

I love, love, love Autumn fashion. I love layers, chunky knits and accessorizing with hats, shoes and bags. So come payday your girl went a bit wild and bought a few things. Zara hands down have the best Autumn/ Winter range so I always know I’m going to be broke when I go there. Initially I went into Zara searching for the burgundy version of these boots and when I saw the cream pair I fell in love. These ankle boots make any outfit look classy. I love the wood and metal detailing on the heel, which by the way is actually really comfortable. I will be rinsing these boots this Autumn/ Winter for sure.

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SNACKS

Buff Bake Snickerdoodle Almond Butter

This month I bring to you the humble nut butter but not as you know it. What makes this almond butter different is that there is added whey protein in it! I’m always looking for more ways to add protein into my diet and I love nut butters so this really is win-win for me. I really enjoy the flavour of this almond butter, I’m not sure what a snickerdoodle is supposed to taste like but it’s kind of biscuitty and I get a hint of cinnamon from it too. The texture is a little bit grainy which is to be expected because of the whey but overall it’s really delicious! I bought mine from Musclefood.

 

MAC False Lashes Extreme Black – Review

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Having recently received a sample of the MAC False Lashes Extreme Black mascara I was really excited to try it out straight away. I usually test mascaras for a week or so when deciding whether I like it or not. Now, I’m no high-end mascara aficionado. Mascara is one of those products that I believe the drug store has nailed, so any chance I get to try a high end product I have really high expectations for it.

Taken from the MAC website, this mascara claims to be:

  • Flake-proof and smudge-proof
  • Volumizing, 75% increase
  • Curling, over 100% increase
  • Long-wearing
  • Separates lashes
  • Lengthening
  • Features a carbon black formula

I liked the formula for this mascara, it applies really smoothly, isn’t clumpy after two coats and is very black. The formula definitely didn’t flake throughout the day but towards the very end of the day, by this I mean 14 hours later, there was some smudging on the outer corner of my eyes. It didn’t cause any irritation when I rubbed my eyes and is ophthalmologist tested and safe for contact lens wearers. It’s a great long wearing option for work/ school days.

The brush for this mascara is your classic bristle wand. It is very thick, fluffy and tapers to a pointed edge for more detailed work. I found that this brush managed to tightline my lashes as well as coat all my lashes individually without clumping. This gives the appearance of thicker lashes at the root of the hair. Unfortunately, no matter how careful I was, this mascara always transferred to the upper lid very near the root of the hair and I’d have to spend an extra few minutes cleaning it up every time.

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macfalselashesextreme

Overall I found this mascara gave my lashes volume at the root, length, separation and it gives a good amount of curl that holds all day. It gives a fluttery look to my lashes which I find is more suitable for the daytime. The formula was very comfortable to wear, but the brush created transfer on my upper lid. Not something I’d expect from a high end product. With all that being said I don’t think I’m going to go out of my way to spend £19 on a tube of this mascara because I’ve had similar successes with high-street/ drug-store products.

Have you tried this product before? Comment below and let me know what you thoughts are. Also I’d really like to know, what are your favourite high end mascaras?

Until next time,

Jay x

 

Estée Lauder Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup SPF 10 (Shade 4.5) – Review

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For my oily skin folks the task of finding good base products is forever a struggle. I feel that most foundations on the market are aimed at normal to dry skin. Products for oily skin are just not up to scratch with the oil control and the only products that successfully mattify the skin are very thick and feel heavy on the skin. Now, in terms of full coverage I love my Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation which I’ve reviewed previously on the blog but day-to-day I prefer to look more natural. Recently this has meant settling for the fact that I’ll look like a grease ball by 12pm.

For the past year I’ve been using the Jouer Matte  Moisture Tint which is nice to use during the colder months and when I don’t have a tan, it’s even leaning towards being slightly too light for me. However, as soon as I get a bit of sun this product (the darkest one in the range) doesn’t match me. Nor does it control oil like I need it to unless paired with a primer, powder and setting spray. Far too much effort in my opinion.

I did a lot of research on foundations, BB creams and tinted moisturisers for oily skin. As  I said before many reviewers find that a lot of them fall short in terms of oil control. So, after a lots of investigating I chose the Double Wear Light (DWL) from Estée Lauder. After all, the foundation is my holy grail so theoretically the light version should work well for me.

This product retails between £27-£31. Unlike the Double Wear foundation which has an impressive shade range of 8 colour intensities from very fair to dark and warm to cool undertones, there is less of a colour range (6 intensities) in the DWL which I think is unacceptable, what’s going on Estée Lauder?! Anyway as I am shade 4N2 in the foundation I chose 4.5 in the DWL. This colour is absolutely perfect for me right now (NC44), it has a perfect blend of warm and cool tones and is quite forgiving as the coverage is light.

Packaging: This 30ml product comes in a sleek, opaque squeezy tube that you can control the right amount to dispense from. I LOVE this packaging, it feels perfect for travelling with. Also it is opaque so any light sensitive ingredients are kept stable.

Formula: This product, like the original version is based on water. It contains silica and silicones to help control oil and sodium hyaluronate making it more hydrating than the original version. It does contain SPF 10 (mineral sunscreen) but I would still wear an SPF underneath this product. This foundation is much more lightweight, gives lighter coverage (I’d say sheer to medium) and is not as drying as the original. For that reason anyone from normal to oily skin can wear this product. If you have sensitive skin I’d avoid as it contains alcohols and chamomile oil (potential allergen/ irritant).

Application and longevity: Personally I like applying this product straight onto my face with my fingers working on small sections at a time, I focus on my chin and nose areas as these require the most coverage. The product blends really easily and dries to a semi-matte finish. I really like the fact that it is extremely weightless on the skin, unlike the foundation, and it doesn’t settle into lines or highlight pores over the course of the day. I found that around the sixth hour my nose area became oily but nowhere as much as I’m use to. The oil control from this foundation is nearly as good as the actual foundation but if you have any dry patches it may catch on these.

As you can see from the images below this foundation does a good job of evening out my skin tone, especially the darkness around my chin. The second set of images was taken after I did my basic day-to-day make-up, as you can see there isn’t a lot of flashback from the foundation either.

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Left: No foundation (concealer on under-eyes). Right: Estee Lauder Double Wear Light 4.5
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Left: Natural light, no flash. Right: Artificial light, flash photography.

Overall I’m VERY pleased I’ve found a lightweight foundation that I can wear all year round which doesn’t exacerbate my oiliness, gives good coverage and doesn’t feel heavy on my skin. I really feel as though this is going to become a holy grail product for me!

Have you tried this foundation before? Comment below and let me know what your favourite day time foundations are.

Jay x

MAY FAVOURITES

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Hello beautiful people. Where on earth did the Month of May go?! Here in London Summertime is in full swing (periods of sunshine with lots of showers LOL) so I’ve finally had a chance to try some of my Summer favourites. I’ve been really liking a few things this month so without further ado, here they are…

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BEAUTY

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair

This serum is a cult favourite in the beauty industry. The moment I used it I thought to myself “Why did I ever stop using this?”. Advanced Night Repair is one of the only two serums that I have repurchased (the other being Paula’s Choice Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum). Every night I pat a few drops of this serum into my skin, it absorbs quickly and in the morning I consistently wake up with with clearer and plumper skin. If you haven’t ever tried this serum I would thoroughly recommend it for healthier, supple skin! Read my in-depth review here.

Urban Decay De-Slick Spray

As it’s been a little warmer I’ve been loving using this setting spray to prolong the wear of my make-up. After I put on my make-up in the morning I spray this into my face and it sets my face to a matte finish. I definitely see a reduction in oil production and an elongation in the wear of my make-up. If I’m going out after work I like to spray this on my face again after blotting and it’ll set me for the rest of the evening. This product is a must for anyone with oily skin.

Delilah Sunset Matte Bronzer (Medium Dark)

To anyone with my skin tone (NC42-44) you NEED to have this bronzer in your kit. This is the best matte bronzer I have ever used. It is the perfect blend of warm and cool tones, finely milled, long lasting for the dreamiest bronzed skin. There is a lighter version available too for fairer skin tones. For a full review see here.

Kiehls Avocado Eye Cream

This month I had some dehydration around the eyes so I’ve been applying an extra thick layer of this eye cream at night and it’s really done a great job at getting rid of dry lines and plumping up the skin around my eyes. It’s a simple formula but extremely efficient at what it does. For a full review, click here.

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FASHION

Bershka Bomber

Bomber jackets are everywhere this season, I find myself wanting all of them! I picked this jacket up a few months ago from Bershka, one of my favourite high street shops, and I’m really enjoying wearing it dressed down with jeans and trainers. It instantly makes you look effortlessly cool. The print and colour are really complementary on my skin tone too.

Pieces Backpack

I’ve been searching for a black backpack for ages but always found that they were either too small to be practical, or too large, making me look like a school child! I found this backpack from Pieces and it’s the perfect size, the faux leather is really soft like real leather and the shape is really different to anything I’ve seen before. I will be taking this on holiday in a few weeks as the zip and clasp makes it pretty much impossible to steal from.

Rebel London Sandals

This pair of monochrome sandals from Rebel London are so pretty, smart and comfortable. They match just about any outfit so I will be wearing these a lot this Summer.

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SNACKS

Food For Life, Ezekiel 4:9, Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal

Cereals are one of my favourite foods so I’m always looking for new ones to try. I came across this cereal and the ingredients looked amazing- freshly sprouted certified organically grown whole live grains, legumes, and seeds, no added sugar, no added oil, no artificial flavouring, 100% whole food full of vitamins and minerals. This cereal tastes absolutely amazing, crunchy and wholesome, I can’t wait to try all of the flavours. It’s high in carbohydrates and protein so I love having it with Greek yoghurt and fresh fruit before a weights session at the gym. It’s quite expensive (£5.50/box) but totally worth it, I bought mine online from here.

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That’s all for this month my dears, please tell me what you’ve been loving this month in the comments section below!

Jay x

 

The £85 serum: Algenist Genius – Review

algenistserumWhilst scrolling through the internet for the next product to test for you guys I came across the Genius serum from San Franciscan clinical skincare brand, Algenist. At £85 for a 30ml bottle I knew this serum was not to be bought on a whim. After a lot of research I decided to take the plunge and purchase it.

The Genius serum claims to visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles, reduce the appearance of age spots and reduce discoloration (my main skincare concern!).

Packaging: I really like the packaging for this product. It comes in a fully opaque pump meaning it is stable to light and air exposure. Having said that, you won’t know if you’ve run out of product, till you run out of product.

Formula: The formula of the serum is really what convinced me that I needed it in my life. The formula is based on silicones and the main actives are Alguronic acid, Microalgae oil and Vitamin C. Vitamin C in skincare products are my weak spot and this product has a high concentration of it! Alguronic acid is a patented compound which is said to be responsible for regeneration and protection of the microalgae cell. Microalgae oil contains oleic acid (an essentially fatty acid in the skin), phytosterols, tocopherols and tocotrienols which are essential nutrients for healthy skin. The formula also contains a plethora of cell-communicating ingredients for the regeneration and healing of hyperpigmented skin. Unfortunately, it does contain parfum and alcohol derivatives making it unsuitable for sensitive skin.

Application: A single pump of this product is enough for the whole face. The product comes out as a clear gel that feels cooling on the skin and absorbs very quickly. I didn’t find the product to be sticky or uncomfortable.

Long term results: I used this product every night for 3 months. Within the first few weeks I saw an overall improvement in the brightness of my skin. It looked a bit more plump and radiant which is what I usually get when using a new serum. After the first few weeks however I stopped seeing any further improvement in my skin. It didn’t improve the hyperpigmentation around my mouth and eyes nor did it fade dark spots.

All in all despite the amazing ingredients and overall positive reviews I’ve read, I’d say this serum was not worth the £85 price tag. Perhaps my skin isn’t mature enough to gain the full benefits from it, but I definitely will not be repurchasing it as I have gotten better results from cheaper serums that I’ve used in the past.

Have you tried this serum before? What is your  favourite serum? Comment below and let me know!

Jay x

Kiko Mat Base Corrector Primer – Review

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I have an extremely oily t-zone which up until a few weeks ago I’d just given up with. My oiliness is so bad that even when wearing my Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation (anyone who wears this knows how drying the formula is) AND powdering it within an inch of my life, it still gets oily by lunchtime.

I’ve never had any luck with mattifying primers in the past with them either just not working or breaking me out. I do love my Hourglass mineral veil primer for special occasions, but in terms of oil control it does nothing for me. I’d been recommended the Mat Base Corrector primer numerous times over the last year and decided to finally drag myself to Kiko to purchase it. At £8.90 for a 25ml tube it’s extremely affordable so I was really excited at the prospect of being oil free on a budget!

I tested this product on and off for around 3 weeks to be able to give a full, honest review.

Packaging: I really like the packaging for this product. It’s an opaque tube with a very small opening that makes it easy to dispense the correct amount of product. There is no air and light exposure making the formula stable.

Formula: The formula for this primer looks promising for oily skin. It’s water based and doesn’t contain any silicone which has been known to break out blemish prone skin. There are a number of oil controlling actives such as the oily absorbing clay magnesium aluminum silicate, propylene glycol and Enantia Chlorantha Bark Extract. It also contains antimicrobial ingredients to prevent break-outs such as phenoxyethanol, butylene glycol and oleanolic acid. It doesn’t contain any fragrance or colourant. Unfortunately I’m not a big fan of alcohol in formulas but considering I only wear foundation two or three days a week I’m okay with using a primer with alcohol in it.

Application: This product comes out as a thick clear gel, when I apply it on my skin it doesn’t glide on and leaves a bit of a tacky finish. I find that I have to spend more time applying foundation on top of this primer as it does make foundation drag and catch.Once the product is on my skin looks completely matte and doesn’t look cakey.

Longevity: By the end of my 12 hour day I’d say my skin is around 50% less shiny compared to using foundation alone and remains oil-free for up to 8 hours. There is no oiliness around my cheeks but there is still some shine on my nose and especially above my eyebrows. I didn’t experience any breakouts when using this product either which is great.

Overall I’m quite pleased with this primer, it’s pretty good for everyday use when it’s not too hot or humid outside and keeps my oil at bay for a maximum 8 hours in the T-zone. I don’t think it’ll hold up in the heat of the Summer for my skin personally so the search continues for a really strong oil controlling primer.

Have you tried this primer before? What were your thoughts? Do you have any recommendations for me? Comment below and let me know.

Jay x